Cover image for The midnight verdict
The midnight verdict
Heaney, Seamus.
Personal Author:
First paperback edition.
Publication Information:
Loughcrew, Oldcastle, County Meath, Ireland : Gallery Press ; Chester Springs, PA : U.S. distributor, Dufour Eds., [2000]

Physical Description:
42 pages ; 22 cm.
General Note:
Distributor from label on p. [4], cover.

Based on excerpts of Ovid's Metamorphoses and Brian Merriman's Cúirt an Mheán Oíche, which the author translated and drastically abridged.
Orpheus and Eurydice -- The midnight verdict -- The death of Orpheus.
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Material Type
Home Location
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PR6058.E2 M53 2000 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

On Order


Author Notes

Seamus Heaney was born in Mossbawn, Ireland on April 13, 1939. He received a degree in English from Queen's College in Belfast in 1961. After earning his teacher's certificate in English from St. Joseph's College in Belfast the following year, he took a position at the school as an English teacher. During his time as a teacher at St. Joseph's, he wrote and published work in the university magazine under the pen name Incertus.

In 1966, he became an English literature lecturer at Queen's College in Belfast. His first volume of poems, Death of a Naturalist, went on to receive the E.C. Gregory Award, the Cholmondeley Award, the Somerset Maugham Award, and the Geoffrey Faber Memorial Prize.

After the death of his parents, Heaney published the poetry volumes The Haw Lantern, which includes a sonnet sequence memorializing his mother, and Seeing Things, a collection containing numerous poems for his father. His other works included Field Work, Opened Ground: Poems 1966-1996, and Human Chain.

Heaney was a professor at Harvard from 1981 to 1997 and its Poet in Residence from 1988 to 2006. From 1989 to 1994 he was also the Professor of Poetry at Oxford and in 1996 was made a Commandeur de l'Ordre des Arts et Lettres. Other awards that he received include the Geoffrey Faber Memorial Prize (1968), the E. M. Forster Award (1975), the PEN Translation Prize (1985), the Golden Wreath of Poetry (2001), T. S. Eliot Prize (2006) and two Whitbread Prizes (1996 and 1999). In 2012, he was awarded the Lifetime Recognition Award from the Griffin Trust For Excellence In Poetry. His literary papers are held by the National Library of Ireland.

He died following a short illness on August 30, 2013 at the age of 74. Heaney's last words were in a text to his wife Marie, "Noli timere", which means "Do not be afraid."

(Bowker Author Biography) Seamus Heaney lives in Dublin and teaches at Harvard University. He was awarded the Nobel Prize in literature in 1995.

(Publisher Provided) Seamus Heaney was born in 1939 in Northern Ireland. He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1995. A resident of Dublin, he has taught poetry at Oxford University and Harvard University.

(Publisher Provided)

Reviews 1

Library Journal Review

This work collects three of the Irish Nobel laureate's previously published translations. Selections from Ovid's Metamorphoses, "Orpheus and Eurydice" and "The Death of Orpheus," appeared in After Ovid, and "The Midnight Verdict" was published in Ireland in 1993 by the Gallery Press. The two famous stories about the descent of Orpheus into the underworld and his death at the hands of "crazed" Maenads frame Heaney's translation of an abridged version of the Celtic work "C irt an Mhe n O che" (Gaelic for "The Midnight Verdict"), which appears in the United States for the first time. Written in 1781 by Brian Merriman, a mathematics teacher from County Clare, this poem recounts a poet's visit to a court presided over by Aoibheall, a beautiful fairy queen. A woman complains that she is without a mate because men of Ireland refuse to marry, and it is left to the "peerless" Aoibheall to pronounce a verdict. As Heaney says, the ending of the excerpt (the entire poem is much longer) takes on "a new resonance when read within the acoustic of the classical myth." Like his poetry, Heaney's well-crafted translations combine the earthy feel of everyday life and inspired eloquence. Recommended for all poetry collections. Frank Allen, Northampton Community Coll., Tannersville, PA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.